The area of Gasthof Engel needs to be transformed into a center with gastronomy and a large hall. The municipality would have to take out a large loan for this.
Wertach In February 2021, Wertach was looking for an investor for the “Nowe Centrum”, a building with an auditorium and gastronomy. Nobody came forward. It was said then that the implementation of the winning model of the urban competition for the “New Center” would cost over eight million euros. With no one found, the community slimmed down the plan again. But there is also a big question mark behind it. Even the municipal supervision of the Poviat Starosty warns the commune to get into a lot of debt for it.
Letter from the County Office
The head of the main office, Jörg Meyer, read out a two-page letter to the city council of Wertach. It was about approving the current budget, including loans of 3.8 million euros. The letter states whether further loans will be accepted in the future “cannot be foreseen at the moment”. The authority also writes that the “New Center” is a voluntary task of the commune and can only be implemented “if there is a sufficient financial scope and obligatory tasks are not neglected”.
The mayor of Wertach, Gertrud Knoll, does not fully agree with this assessment. The auditorium serves the community, clubs, and thus also social life, she says when asked on the phone the next day. “It’s a mandatory assignment.” There are many active clubs and active rural life in Werty. And it should stay that way. “There must be a hall.” But of course, he adds, the community will soon need a new fire station.
Since taking office in 2020, Knoll has been trying to lower the costs of the “city center”. Soon all the possibilities should reappear on the table. Also refurbishment of Gasthof Engel. According to Knoll, this was a topic a few years ago. But when it was told that the renovation would cost about the same as the redesign, the city council decided to refurbish it.
“Cost has never been a problem”
Then there was an urban planning competition. Here, as Knoll recalls, “cost has never been an issue.” At that time, she was still a CSU councilor. “The Commission has repeatedly warned that the competition should also set an upper financial limit.”
Five million euros should be the maximum, says Knoll. However, the implementation of the winning model would cost – initially – EUR 7.5 million. According to Knoll, the estimate for 2020 was already EUR 8.3 million. Then he was slimmed down again. But it all takes a lot of effort, time and consultation. Specialist planners had to be contracted, and in some cases bids had to be submitted all over Europe.
In 2021 – slimmed down – “Nowe Centrum” was an auditorium with a small restaurant and a village town hall. However, the municipality would not have been able to do this without the subsidy. In order to be able to obtain this, the commune had to prove that there are no private investors. An investor was sought. No one was found.
“Great Hole of Wertach”
It is also not advisable to start construction now, if you do not know “whether the funds for further construction will be approved in the future,” said head office manager Meyer, “and he painted a painting of” the great hole Wertach “on the wall. . “After all, we’re under receivership,” Knoll said in the same tone. Plan B is valid now. Now the committee has to “discuss intensely how to proceed”. The Gasthof Engel with its beautiful beer garden has been empty since the end of 2020. The tenant gave a notice of termination during the crown pandemic.